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Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity Research 2023

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a typical dual-use technology, where malicious actors and innovators are constantly trying to best each other’s work. This is a common situation with technologies used to prepare strategic intelligence and support decision making in critical areas. Malicious actors are learning how to make their attacks more efficient by using this technology to find and exploit vulnerabilities in ICT systems.

Taking one step further in clarifying this initial statement: with the help of AI, malicious actors can introduce new capabilities that can prolong or even expand cyber threat practises that have been in existence already for a long time. With AI, these capabilities are gradually becoming automated and harder to detect. This study explores some of these capabilities from a research perspective.

In this study, two dimensions of AI have been considered (categorisation explained in Section 4): (a) ensuring a secure and trustworthy AI and preventing its malicious use (‘AI-as-a-crime-service’ or ‘AI to harm’) and (b) the use of AI in cybersecurity (‘AI use cases’ or ‘AI to protect’).

The use cases of AI in cybersecurity are numerous and growing. Listing them exhaustively is beyond the scope of this study, as research in this area is constantly evolving. However, we present examples of some of these use cases throughout the report to better explain ongoing research efforts in this technology and explore areas where further research is needed.

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